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Diaxde Volunteers

Taiwan in the Space Age

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Exactly 40 years ago today, July 20th, Neil Armstrong took his “small step” that is really a huge leap for humanity. The positive repercussion of his step is about to get much bigger. In this very special 40th anniversary of we – the earthlings’ – moon landing, I like to celebrate with several of my observations. And relate my observations and predictions to what role can Taiwan play in the space age.

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$100,000 per Barrel Oil, Part II

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The solution for high oil price is high oil price. That is the reason why a thought experiment like this is worthy of conducting. When I wrote “$100,000 per Barrel Oil” last July, I was unaware of economist Jeff Rubin and his bullish outlook on oil; nor was I aware of his book, Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization. The following quote prompted me to draft up another variation of my very simple back-of-the-envelope model for estimating the peak price in the current raw materials secular bull market:

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$100,000 per Barrel Oil

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Please note that this is only an interesting thought experiment to illustrate the huge potential for oil’s price escalation.

Assumptions:

  1. Every percentage change of supply (while holding demand constant) or demand (while holding supply constant) results in roughly a 10 to 30 percent change in price. I heard that this tends to be the experience of long time commodities traders. Citation welcomed. But given that both the price elasticity of demand and supply for oil is very inelastic, this assumption sounds reasonable.

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When USSR Disintegration Meets Japan's Lost Decade

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In one word – China.

The recent international media's reporting on suicides and labor unrest at the 400,000 employee Foxconn factory near Shenzhen got me thinking. Here are some gathered notes and musings:

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Goddess of Spring and Love

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Who is that calling from the depths of the forest? 
In the lonely silence of the dawn,
Like the exuberant voice of a silver bell;
Calling whom? 
Oh!  Goddess of Love! 
Goddess of Spring and Love.

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Sell Your Taiwanese Stocks!

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Upon seeing Crystal Hsu’s business reporting on Taipei Times yesterday (July 2nd, 2009), something alerted me greatly.

I have been following stock markets since my days as an undergrad.  That’s more than 15 years ago.  And I don’t remember seeing the Taiwan’s broad stock market index averaging a p/e (price to earnings) ratio over 40 times.  According to Hsu’s report, Kevin Hsiao, the head of UBS Wealth Management Research Taiwan, had pointed out that that p/e ratio is the highest among all four “small dragons” of Southeast Asia.  Another observation on Hsaio’s data is that Taiwan’s p/e ratio is more than twice as large comparing against all the other three small dragons (Hong Kong 18.2x, South Korea 14.7x, Singapore 15.5x) and China (14.3x) and India (16.6).  Amazing.

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Newsflash

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday supported banning “risky” beef products to override a protocol recently signed with the US.

Saying that legislators across party lines had agreed to amend the Act Governing Food Sanitation (食品衛生管理法) and ban beef products that may be “health-threatening,” Wang said the amendment, once passed, would trump the protocol.